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tv   CBS Evening News With Katie Couric  CBS  March 2, 2011 5:30pm-6:00pm PST

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caption colorado, l.l.c. >> couric: tonight, the supreme court says protesters are free to picket the funerals of fallen soldiers. an angry father has this to say about the justices. >> they don't have the common sense god gave a goat. >> couric: i'm katie couric. also tonight, libya's qaddafi rallies supporters and tries but fails to take back an oil port from the rebels. a former child star becomes a victim of elder abuse. >> i felt trapped, scared. >> couric: and a special investigation: top college athletes with criminal records their recruiters never bothered to check. captioning sponsored by cbs from cbs news world headquarters in new york, this is the "cbs evening news" with
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katie couric. >> couric: good evening, everyone. there was outrage across the country when antigay protesters showed up at the funerals of fallen soldiers shouting and jeering in earshot of the grieving families, but the supreme court ruled today those protests, as hateful and hurtful as they may be, are protected the by the first amendment. the lone descenter in the eight to one decision, samuel alito. he said families have a right to bury the fallen in peace. our chief legal correspondent jan crawford begins our coverage tonight. ♪ god hates america... >> reporter: the message from the westboro baptist church is hateful. "thank god for dead soldiers." "god hates fags." church members believe god is killing all american soldiers because the country tolerates homosexuals. >> we are trying to warn you to flee the wrath of god, flee eternal destruction. >> reporter: but no one paid
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much attention until the church started taking its message to soldiers' funerals. matthew snyder died in iraq. his father told cbs news last fall that the protests at matthew's funeral stole his last moments with his son. he sued the church for emotional distress and got a $5 million judgment. >> somebody said to me, you know, "$5 million. i bet you... i bet you'd give it up to have matt back." i would give it up just to say good-bye. >> reporter: but the supreme court said in an 8-1 decision that the church doesn't owe snyder a dime. chief justice john roberts said the first amendment protects even hurtful speech to ensure that we do not stifle public debate. now, justice alito dissented. he said the protests don't add anything to the debate and they
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only hurt innocent people like albert snyder. katie. >> couric: jan crawford, jan, thank you. it was five years ago tomorrow that marine lance corporate matthew snyder was killed in a humvee accident in iraq. he was just 20 years old. his father, albert, joins us now from york, pennsylvania. mr. snyder, what was your reaction to today's supreme court decision? >> i was kind of shocked. i can't believe that the supreme court today has now told us that we have no rights to bury our dead in peace. it's a sad day for our military men and women, their families. it's a sad day for all americans. my first thought is what kind of society have we become? >> couric: are you surprised the decision was so overwhelming with eight out of nine justices backing the protesters? >> yes, i was, katie. they may be book smart but they
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don't have the common sense god gave a goat. you know, the justices and the government will send their children to war, and they'll send them back in body bags, and then they can't even give us enough respect to bury them in peace. >> couric: the church has protested outside many other funerals. what would you say to other grieving families today? >> well, there's not much we can do about it anymore. when the government won't do anything about it, and the courts give us no remedy, then people are going to start taking matters into their own hands. and believe me, someone's going to get hurt, and when the blood starts flowing, let it be on the supreme court justices' hands. >> couric: tomorrow, i know, mr. snyder, is the five-year anniversary of your son's death. this must be a very difficult time for you and your family. tell us what you're remembering about your son today? >> just about how good a kid he was, how proud he was to be a
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soldier, how proud he was of america. and if he could see this, i don't think he'd be very proud of this country right now. >> couric: thank you very much for speaking with us, mr. snyder. we so appreciate it. >> you're welcome, katie. >> couric: now turning to libya where oil is the life blood of moammar qaddafi's regime. and in a major offensive today, he tried to retake a key oil terminal captured by rebels in the eastern city of brega. qaddafi's warplanes dropped bombs but the opposition beat back the attack. meanwhile, two u.s. warships passed through the suez canal today heading closer to libya. defense secretary robert gates says they could be used to evacuate civilians. the libyan border is overwhelmed with refugees. 30,000 are waiting to get into tunisia. and some foreign workers were able to get out on ships bound for egypt. but back to today's major development, qaddafi's failed offensive in brega.
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mandy clark was there and reports tonight from benghazi. >> reporter: this is the excitement of victory in the town near today's major battle, cars bearing rebel fighters braced the front line. their comrades splashed water on them and cheered. when word came in of an apparent rebel victory down road, this was a scene of wild celebration. but now these fighters are rushing to get a new shipment of weapons ready for any possible counter-attack. the battle began with an assault by government troops before dawn and included bombing runs by qaddafi's warplanes. >> reporter: by late afternoon, the rebels were on the offensive. down the road, survivors arrived at a chaotic emergency room. they are mercenaries from africa, attacking us with
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rockets and missiles, this man said. we tucked in behind a truck loaded with ammunition and headed for the front line. smoke was rising from an area hit by bombs, but when we arrived in brega itself, the town was back in rebel hands. we're at the center of al brega and people are out in force celebrating fact they managed to push out pro-qaddafi troops but those troops are just down the road and the rebels are chasing them further out of town. this is the prize qaddafi's men were after-- a massive oil shipment terminal. when we saw it on monday, it was intact but idle. today, this employee was on the front line defending it, and he assured us it was safe. the crowd was venting its fury on qaddafi's green flag, but these men weren't stopping to savor their victory for long. there was a traffic jam headed out of town to the next fight down the road. the next town over has another
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crucial oil facility which has changed hands several times over the past few days. after that comes the town of surt, which is a qaddafi stronghold and could be the rebels' biggest challenge so far. >> couric: mandy, how big a victory was this battle today for the rebels? >> reporter: well, it could be a turning point. they have been actually firing fireworks off here in benghazi. the fact that qaddafi's forces tried this bold strike and were defeated is has certainly opinion a shot in the arm for the rebels and many fighters we spoke to said they're ready to march on tripoli. katie. >> couric: mandy clark reporting from benghazi, libya tonight, thank you. even as his forces were fighting and losing in the east, qaddafi continued to put up a brave front. today in tripoli, he vowed once again to fight to the end. harry smith is there. >> reporter: after he drove himself over in a vehicle most commonly found in retirement communities. colonel moammar qaddafi
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addressed a handpicked crowd here in tripoli today and their response was rapturous. qaddafi sees himself as the father of his country, and much of the speech sounded like a family meeting. "the misled youth were given hallucinogenic drugs by al qaeda," he says. "but if they return their arms and return their weapons they will be pardoned." and today the colonel added a few new incentives. "now there are jobs," he says. there is work." there is work." "with the foreign workers gone, there is work." if you want to get married, buy a house, or buy a car, there will be 20-year interest-free loans. when he wasn't talking about family matters, he warned any would-be foreign occupiers, like the u.s. or e.u. "we will not allow foreign occupation," said qaddafi. "if they do that, libya will be like hell and there will be rivers of blood drowning the enemies." some in the crowd had heard this all before. and as for the revolution, a libyan human rights group put
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the death toll at 6,000. colonel qaddafi said no. no more than 150. as for leaving office, he said, "i have no power in this government. the people have all the power." harry smith, cbs news, tripoli. >> couric: in other news, 13 u.s. airmen headed to afghanistan came under attack today in germany. they were on a shuttle bus at the frankfurt airport when a gunman opened fire. two of the americans were killed, two others wounded. german police arrested an airport employee, 21-year-old arif uka. his family describes him as a devout muslim. the police say he had argued with the airmen just before the shooting. an update now on bradley manning, the u.s. army private suspected of downloading more than half a million classified government documents later posted online by wikileaks. today, the army said it filed 22
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additional charges against him, including aiding the enemy. conviction on that charge is punishable by death, but army prosecutors say they would recommend life in prison. and coming up next here on the "cbs evening news," bright young college athlete with deep, dark pasts. and later, mickey rooney's emotional plea to congress. jgng
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>> couric: in health news, the
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f.d.a. today ordered about 500 prescription drugs used for treating colds, coughs, and allergies removed from the market. the reason: the drugs contain ingredients that have not been approved by federal regulators. many of the medications are made from older formulas marketed before approval was required. for a list of these prescription drugs you can go to our partner in health news and search f.d.a. actions. he was once one of the biggest names in hollywood but today mickey rooney took on a new role as an advocate for victims of elder abuse. as he told congress, he is one of them. nancy cordes now on rooney's emotional day on capitol hill. ♪ good morning... ♪ it's a lovely morning... >> reporter: a song and dance man with a gift for comedy, mickey rooney made more than 200 movies but today he opened up about his family drama and the psychological abuse he claims he endured until just recently. >> my daily life became
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unbearable. >> reporter: rooney, now 90, obtained a restraining order against his stepson last month, claiming the man had denied him of medication and food, had bullied and threatened him, making him effectively a prisoner in his home. >> even when i tried to speak up i was told to shut up and be quiet. "you don't know what you're talking about." >> reporter: despite his sunny roles, rooney's offscreen life has been tumultuous, married eight times, struggling with drug addiction and a gambling habit that forced him into bankruptcy. he claims his current wife's son tried to take what he has left. the stepson denies the charges but the actor today was adamant. >> money was stolen from me, stolen! >> reporter: rooney came to capitol hill to shine a light on elder abuse, which affects estimated 11% of the elderly every year, though no one knows for sure because so few report it. >> speak up. say, "i'm being abused."
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this happened to me. >> reporter: rooney says he himself waited years to come forward. nancy cordes, cbs news, capitol hill. >> couric: a health scare for tennis star serena williams. her agent says the 13-time grand slam winner was treated last week for a blood clot in her lungs. williams, who is 29, says she hopes to be back on the court by early summer. and coming up next, are universities recruiting star athletes and turning a blind eye to their criminal past? ,,,,
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>> couric: top college football teams are always on the hunt for talent. recruiters go to high schools to watch prospects in action, and, of course, check their records, their playing records. but what about their criminal records? colleges rarely check those, but cbs news and "sports illustrated" did. tonight, chief investigative correspondent armen keteyian shows you what we found. >> reporter: vileseni fauonuku was a one-man wrecking crew as a defensive lineman at bingham high in south jordan, utah, last fall. at six foot 290 pounds, a big reason the minors were the fourth ranked team in the nation. >> i love the kid and i would do what i could to try to help him in his life. >> reporter: but last march, fauonuku was arrested on two felony counts for robbery. it happened here inside this garage. the then-16-year-old allegedly
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pointed a .9 millimeter pistol at two young men while his cousin grabbed drugs, cash and a wallet. detective chad hahn said he issued this chilling threat: >> if they called law enforcement they would do bodily harm to them. >> reporter: bodily harm meaning what? >> death. >> reporter: fauonuku's troubled past was uncovered as part of a groundbreaking cbs news/sports illustrated investigation. focusing on crime in college football. a a six-month examination of how much schools really know about the prospects they recruit and reward with scholarships. to find out we conducted exhaustive criminal background checks on every player. 2,837 in all. on the opening day rosters of si's 2010 pre-season top 25 teams. and what we found was striking. on the top 25 teams, more than 200 players either arrested or cited by the police a total of 277 times.
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overall, 7% of players, one out of every 14, in our single- season sample, had a record. >> these are going to be pretty startling numbers for a lot of people who are seeing them for the first time. >> reporter: in fact, nearly 40% of what we found were serious crimes. 56 for so-called violent crimes, including 25 for assault and battery. 41 arrested are cited for property crimes. more than 100 drug and alcohol- related offenses, including 27 d.u.i.s. and in those case where we know the outcome, we found that nearly 60% of the time, the athlete was either guilty or paid some penalty as a result of his run-in with the law. according to our data, the had >> according to our data the university of pittsburgh had the most players with police records, 22, and a school spokesman said in a statement was unacceptable, followed by iowa, arkansas, boise state, and penn state. among the major conferences, the
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big 10 led our sample with 50 players. the a.c.c. was next with 39. then came the s.e.c., the big east, the pac-10, and the big 12 >> we found that in many cases even the coaches don't know the full extent of players' criminal history. >> reporter: at the annual football coaches' convention, we asked several top college coaches how deep they dig into the background of the players they recruit. most answered along the same lines as jim tressel, head coach of big 10 power ohio state. >> we don't really good into anything outside of the school system. hopefully, through the school system, we can find out just what we would need. >> reporter: in fact, we found only two of our top 25 schools did any kind of regular criminal background checks, and we couldn't find a single school that searched juvenile records. yet we discovered in the recruiting hot bed of florida, they are accessible and revealing. 318 athletes in our sample hailed from florida.
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22 had a juvenile record. >> in the state of florida, you can do a complete criminal history from juvenile to adult for $20, $25. i think that schools are going to be in a position where there's really no excuse not to do it. >> reporter: we showed our findings to n.c.a.a. president mark emmert. >> what i saw looking at it was, you know, a set of facts that, obviously, should concern all of us. >> reporter: is this the kind of image the n.c.a.a. wants in any way, shape, or form? >> well, obviously not. you certainly don't want a large number of people with criminal backgrounds involved in activities that represent the n.c.a.a. >> reporter: there was good news. 11 schools had five or fewer run-ins with the law, and one came out completely clean. undefeated rose bowl champion texas christian university. t.c.u. head coach gary patterson told us there's a critical reason why. >> every student athlete that comes to t.c.u. gets a background check if they're going to be on scholarship so we go very deep. >> reporter: when you say
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"background check" are you meaning criminal background checks. >> there are a lot of different stories out there. >> reporter: as for fauonuku, in an interview at the family home he denied threatening to kill anyone, claiming it was a pellet begin in his hand, and not a pistol. last november he admitted to one count of second-degree felony robbery in juvenile court. his crime will be considered a delinquent act and not a felony paving the way for him to attend the university of utah on a football scholarship which has a school policy prohibiting the signing of felons. armen keteyian, cbs news, south jordan, utah. >> couric: and for more on this investigation you can go to our web site coming up next, apple's steve jobs back on the job.
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goodwill store from opening. why some people say it's bad for a bay area neighborhood trying to stop a goodwill store from opening. why some people say it is bad for business. >> couric: we end in the world of high-tech gadgets where the latest version is always the best, right? well if, you ask the folks at apple today, the answer might be yes and no. john blackstone explains. ( cheers and applause )
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>> reporter: to get a standing ovation, steve jobs had to do no more than walk out on stage. >> we've been working on this product for a while, and i just didn't want to miss today. ( laughter ) so... >> reporter: taking a break from the open-ended medical leave he started in january, jobs is obviously thin but displayed his usual enthusiasm for apple's newest technology, the ipad 2. >> go get your hands on one of these things. you won't believe it. >> reporter: jobs has survived pancreatic cancer and had a liver transplant. by showing up he countered recent tabloid stories he's near death. as he walked on stage, apple's share price started rising closing up nearly $3 for the day. >> steve jobs plus ipad 2, it was a good day for apple. >> reporter: the new ipad will go on sale next week as the same price as the original. it's thinner, faster, and will take pictures. the original ipad had no camera. this one has 2, one in the front and one in the back. john blackstone, cbs news, san
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francisco. >> couric: and that's cbs evening news. i'm katie couric. power- san bruno you're watching cbs5 eyewitness news in high- definition. "this broadcast realtime captioned by becky lyon." if knowledge is power, san bruno firefighters were virtually powerless. how just in the dark those crews were during the fight of their lives. it started with a drug bust. now it is a civil rights complaint. what happens in this video that has sparked the latest investigation of san francisco police. >> almost like they were going to send somebod looking for. a student so terrified hiding in a school bathroom. what police found when they reached the campus. and who she was afraid of. day 2 of hearings on the san bruno


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